Showing posts from September, 2011

Big cases await U.S. Supreme Court's 2011-12 term

“Outlined below are some key cases the Supreme Court is scheduled to tackle in its 2011-12 term, which starts Monday.

Forty-nine appeals are on the high court's schedule. As many as three dozen more are expected to be added in coming months. The caseload for the term is usually settled by February.

Other controversial appeals that may yet be added to the high court's docket cover issues related to religious symbols on public land, travel to Cuba and bogus military honors.”

البرلمان الأوروبي يتبنى قرارا يؤكد شرعية المطلب الفلسطيني بالدولة

"تبنى البرلمان الأوروبي اليوم الخميس، قرارا حول الوضع في فلسطين، مؤكدا فيه شرعية المطلب الفلسطيني بأن يمثل بدولة في الأمم المتحدة، مطالبا في نفس الوقت الدول الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي بتبني موقف موحد داعم للمطلب الفلسطيني.

وأشاد البرلمان الأوروبي ببناء المؤسسات الفلسطينية والنجاح بتنفيذ خطة بناء الدولة، مشددا على حق الشعب الفلسطيني بتقرير المصير وعلى أهمية إيجاد حل للصراع الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي خاصة في ظل الربيع العربي.

من جهة أخرى أعاد البرلمان الأوروبي التأكيد على دعمه لحل الدولتين على حدود 1967 وكون القدس عاصمة لدولتين والوقف التام للاستيطان في الضفة الغربية بما فيها القدس."

European Parliament adopts resolution, confirming Palestinian bid legitimacy

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday, confirming the legitimacy of the Palestinian-UN membership application, calling on the EU members to adopt a united decision which supports the Palestinian bid.
“The parliament praised the rehabilitation of the P.A institutions and its plans to establish a Palestinian state, stressing the Palestinian’s right of self-determination and the importance to find a way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict especially during the ongoing Arab Spring.

The House reconfirmed its support for the two-state solution on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a capital of the two states, Palestine and Israel, alongside a totally freeze of the Israeli settlement activities in the lands of Palestinians including East of Jerusalem.

The resolution stressed that the only way to the ending of the conflict is through peaceful ways, calling on parties concerned to return to the negotiations’ table and avoiding any steps that would damage negotiation pr…

European Parliament supports Palestine's "legitimate" bid for statehood

Parliament called Palestine's bid for statehood "legitimate" in a resolution passed on Thursday, and said that a solution should be found within a year. MEPs believe, however, that Palestinian statehood should result from negotiations, during the current UN General Assembly session. ""The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders", says the resolution, adopted by a show of hands.
1967 borders, Jerusalem as capital
Parliament reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states, and stresses that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should resume without delay. The resolution underlines that "no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted".
Common EU position needed

EP to Turkey: A threat made against one Member State is a threat against the whole EU

In Tuesday evening's debate, MEPs were united in their concern at the rising tensions between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus in the dispute over oil and gas exploration. They condemned Turkey's threats and stressed that any threat against one Member State was a threat against the whole EU. "A number of Members pointed to the growing importance of Turkey as a player in the region and underlined the need for good neighbourly relations, stressing that Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, must accept Cyprus as a member of the EU. Many underlined that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to explore for natural resources in its own economic zone while some suggested that both communities on the island should benefit from any exploitation of oil and gas resources. Several MEPs made the point that this dispute comes at a critical point in the UN negotiations on the reunification of the divided island of Cyprus. Some Members objected to Commissioner Füle's appeal for restr…

Palestinian FM: Eight UN Security Council members support statehood bid

“Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the Voice of Palestine radio station on Thursday that eight members of the Security Council have pledged to support the Palestinian statehood application and that great efforts are being made to secure a decisive ninth supporter.
Security Council decisions require the support of nine of the 15 members, and no vetoes from the five permanent members, in order to pass.

The United States has pledged to veto the Palestinian application, which needs Security Council approval in order to be handed to the UN General Assembly for confirmation. Al-Maliki said the Palestinians have two options for the ninth vote: Colombia and Bosnia. The Palestinians are focusing their efforts on gaining the support of Bosnia. Al-Maliki said that Russian, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon will support the statehood bid.”

Security Council refers Palestinian application to UN membership committee

“28 September 2011 – The President of the Security Council today referred Palestine’s application to become a United Nations Member State to the committee that deals with the admission of new members.
The Council’s decision to refer the application comes almost a week after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who then forwarded it to the 15-member body. The Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members is slated to consider the application on Friday. Any application for UN membership is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member General Assembly, which then has to adopt a resolution for the admission of a Member State. Palestine, which currently has observer status at the UN, submitted the application for full membership “based on the Palestinian people’s natural, legal and historic rights” and based on resolution 181 adopted by the General Assembly in Nove…

MEPs debate situation in Palestine

In Tuesday's debate on the Middle East, several MEPs voiced support for Palestinian President Abbas's request, at the United Nations last Friday, for Palestine's recognition as a state. Others emphasised that both Israel's desire for security and the frustration of the Palestinian people should be addressed.

“MEPs underlined that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations should resume, and the EU should speak with one voice on Middle East issues. Many MEPs condemned the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Some said this Israeli policy could backfire and accelerate Palestine's international recognition as a state. Others emphasised that the settlement policy could make a two-state solution impossible. Parliament is to vote on a resolution on the situation in Palestine on Thursday at noon.”

Ashton shows pro-Palestinian side at EU parliament

“EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton showed her pro-Palestinian sympathies at the European Parliament on Tuesday (27 September) as MEPs get set to back the UN upgrade.
She began the meeting in Strasbourg with a formal statement against Israel's new decision to build 1,100 Jewish housing units on Palestinian land at its Gilo settlement.
"This plan should be reversed. Settlement activity threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution and runs contrary to the Israeli stated commitment to resume negotiations," she said.
She later added on a personal note: "I have condemned settlement activity every time it was announced - I have made six statements this year, plus one Quartet [a joint EU, Russia, UN and US body] statement plus the comment today ... Each time I have met him [Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu] I have told him settlements are illegal under international law."
She also praised Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad: "They …

ALDE: 6-pack on economic governance is victory for financial stability and basis for growth

"The European Parliament today gave its final approval to the agreement reached two weeks ago with the Council on the six legislative acts on economic governance ('6 pack'), which improves on the existing framework for macroeconomic surveillance in Europe. Liberals and Democrats insisted throughout on the strengthening of the preventive arm of the Stability Pact as one of the essential elements of the package that will contribute to Europe regaining stability and growth.
Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament, said "Today's victory is entirely due to the Liberals and Democrats insistence on establishing clear rules that impose more discipline through automatic sanctions. This will  discourage Member states from evading their responsibilities to each other to ensure stability of the euro zone. It is a response to the failure of Member States in the past to respect the rules they themselves had agreed upon".
Moreover, while cal…

Verhofstadt: Barroso must now convince Council of need for more Europe

In today's State of the Union debate in Strasbourg, Guy Verhofstadt welcomed President Barroso's passionate defence of the European Union and the central role of the Commission in proposing common solutions to the current crisis.
""We stand in the eye of a financial storm. Banks have lost trust in each other, stock markets are at a 4-year low, growth prospects are anemic and the spreads on government bonds in the eurozone are increasing by the day. Only courage, solidarity and leadership will provide a route out of the current crisis. "
"The President of the European Commission today showed a strong commitment to the European Parliament that he believes in a united and effective Union as the best response to the economic and financial crisis spreading across the continent. He now needs to give the same unequivocal message to the European Council due to meet in Brussels next month, repeating his belief, that we share, that the intergovernmental method, depend…

Security Council to meet on Palestine statehood

“The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday morning to consider the Palestinian request for full membership of the world body, a step that would see it recognised as a state in its own right. The Security Council will consider referring the Palestinian request, made last Friday, to a special committee on new admissions, said Nawaf Salam, the Lebanese ambassador to the UN and current holder of the rotating presidency of the council. “The council will hold a formal meeting on Wednesday to hand over the application to the committee,” Mr Salam said. The committee is likely to comprise representatives from all 15 members of the Security Council.”

UN Security Council considers Palestinian membership

The UN Security Council has begun consultations on an application by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for full state membership of the UN.
“The request needs the support of nine of the 15 members of the council, but the US has said it will veto the bid. Diplomats say it could take weeks before the issue comes to a vote. Mr Abbas last week urged the council in New York to back a state with pre-1967 borders. Israel reiterated its call for peace talks without preconditions. The Security Council is expected to refer the Palestinian request to a special committee - which includes all 15 council members - which will examine it and make a recommendation.”

Application of Palestine for admission to membership in the UN

Application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations

Saudi Monarch Grants Women Right to Vote

“King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Sunday granted women the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, the biggest change in a decade for women in a puritanical kingdom that practices strict separation of the sexes, including banning women from driving. Saudi women, who are legally subject to male chaperones for almost any public activity, hailed the royal decree as an important, if limited, step toward making them equal to their male counterparts. They said the uprisings sweeping the Arab world for the past nine months — along with sustained domestic pressure for women’s rights and a more representative form of government — prompted the change.”

UN Security Council expresses "grave concern" at situation in Yemen, urges "maximum restraint"

“The United Nations Security Council has released a press statement on the situation in Yemen. The statement was issued by Nawaf Salam, Lebanon's ambassador to the UN and the current president of the Security Council.”

Rethink Police Procedures to Save Innocent, Convict Guilty

“If there is cause to doubt the justice of the execution this week of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia, it stems in part from the fact that seven witnesses recanted after Davis’ trial. A study released Monday provides additional confirmation that rules on eyewitness evidence in criminal trials must change. The study, co-sponsored by the Innocence Project, the American Judicature Society and the Police Foundation, follows a unanimous decision last month by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which ruled that the state’s procedures for handling eyewitness evidence must be upgraded to reflect the findings of decades of social science research. As Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote, current rules on eyewitness evidence provide neither “adequate measure for reliability,” nor a sufficient deterrent to “inappropriate police conduct.””

Palestinians Give Abbas a Hero’s Welcome

“Two days after seeking full membership for a State of Palestine in the United Nations, President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, returned to a hero’s welcome here on Sunday, telling supporters that they were part of a “Palestinian Spring” and that he would resume peace talks only if Israel stopped work on settlements.”

President Abbas Declares 'Palestinian Spring'

“Thousands of Palestinians cheering and waving flags gave President Mahmoud Abbas a hero's welcome in the West Bank Sunday, as he told them triumphantly a "Palestinian Spring" had been born following his historic speech to the U.N. last week.

Abbas' popularity has skyrocketed since he asked the U.N. on Friday to recognize Palestinian independence, defying appeals from Israel and the United States to return to peace talks. His request has pushed the region into uncharted waters, and left the international community scrambling over how to respond.”

الرئيس محمود عباس: ارفعوا رؤوسكم فأنتم فلسطينيون

خطاب الرئيس محمود عباس لدى عودته إلى رام الله – 25/9/2011
"بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ذهبت إلى الأمم المتحدة أحمل آمالكم وأحلامكم وطموحاتكم وعذاباتكم ورؤيتكم إلى المستقبل وحاجتكم الملحة لدولة فلسطينية مستقلة، ولا أشك لحظة واحدة أن العالم كله، العالم الحر من أقصاه إلى أقصاه استقبل ما نقلناه عنكم وعن تاريخكم وعن عذاباتكم وعن نضالاتكم وعن تطلعاتكم إلا بكل الاحترام والتقدير.

وقلنا للعالم إن هناك الربيع العربي ولكن الربيع الفلسطيني موجود هنا، ربيع شعبي جماهيري مقاوم سلميا للوصول إلى غاياتنا، وأمام هذا الإصرار الذي نقلته من عيونكم إلى العالم وقف الجميع احتراما وتقديرا لتطلعاتكم.

نحن أيتها الأخوات أيها الإخوة واقعيون، نحن نقول إن مسيرتنا الدولية الدبلوماسية العالمية قد بدأت، وأمامنا شوط طويل.. وأمامنا شوط طويل، يجب علينا أن نعرف تماما أن هناك من يعرقل وأن هناك من يضع العقبات وأن هناك من لا زال يرفض الحق ويرفض الشرعية، وسيقف بوجهنا ولكننا بوجودكم أصلب من الجميع في الوصول إلى أهدافنا.

نحن أكدنا للجميع أننا نريد أن نصل إلى حقوقنا بالطرق السلمية بالمفاوضات ولكن ليس أي مفاوضات لن نقبل إلا أن تكو…

Full Official Text of President Mahmoud Abbas' Speech at the UNGA

Full Text

New York - September, 23 2011

“Mr. President of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I wish to extend my congratulations to H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser on his assumption of the Presidency of the Assembly for this session, and wish him all success.
I reaffirm today my sincere congratulations, on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian people, to the government and people of South Sudan for its deserved admission as a full member of the United Nations, wishing them progress and prosperity.
I also congratulate the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on his election for a new term at the helm of the United Nations.  This renewal of confidence reflects the world’s appreciation for his efforts, which have strengthened the role of the United Nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Question Palestine is intricately linked with the Uni…

نص طلب انضمام دولة فلسطين إلى الأمم المتحدة


"سعادتكم، "يشرفني باسم الشعب الفلسطيني أن أقدم هذا الطلب من دولة فلسطين لانضمامها إلى الأمم المتحدة. "يقدم طلب الانضمام هذا على أساس الحقوق الطبيعية والقانونية والتاريخية للشعب الفلسطيني ويستند إلى قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة رقم 181 الصادر في 29 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 1947 وإعلان استقلال دولة فلسطين في 15 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 1988 واعتراف الجمعية العامة بهذا الإعلان في القرار 43/177 الصادر في 15 كانون الأول/ديسمبر 1988. "وفي هذا الإطار، تعلن دولة فلسطين التزامها العمل من أجل تحقيق حل عادل ودائم وشامل للنزاع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني يعتمد على رؤية دولتين تعيشان جنبا إلى جنب بسلام وأمان، التي وافق عليها مجلس الأمن الدولي والجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة والأسرة الدولية وكل القرارات ذات الصلة التي أصدرتها الأمم المتحدة. "وبهدف تقديم طلب قبول العضوية، أرفق بالرسالة إعلان وضع طبقا للقاعدة 58 من القواعد الإجرائية المؤقتة لمجلس الأمن الدولي والقاعدة 134 من القواعد الإجرائية للجمعية العامة. "اطلب منكم بامتنان تسليم رسالة طلب الانضمام هذه والإعلان إلى رئيسي مجلس ا…

Leading article: Will Britain fail the Palestinians for the second time in a century?

“As much as the international coalition that helped to protect the uprising in Libya can be deemed a success – with the important caveat that Muammar Gaddafi has not been apprehended – the Western diplomacy that tried to forestall yesterday's Palestinian application for UN recognition is an abject failure. It is a failure in practice, both because the US may now have to resort to its veto to fend off recognition – the very option it had wanted to avoid – and because Britainhas been forced to choose yet again between Europe and the US, and looks set, awkwardly, to abstain. It reportedly rejected a French compromise plan that would have seen Palestine granted the same non-member status as the Vatican.

But the failure is also moral – on the part of Britain, as much, if not more than, any other power. As the Mandate power in Palestine for 25 years, Britain had an obligation to create and foster self-governing institutions. It left without doing so. More than half a century later, supp…

Ban sends Palestinian application for UN membership to Security Council

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent Palestine’s application to become a United Nations Member State to the Security Council for its consideration after receiving the bid from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier today.
Mr. Ban said he sent the application to Ambassador Nawaf Salam of Lebanon, which holds the Council presidency this month, in line with the provisions of the UN Charter. Palestine currently has observer status at the UN. Any application for UN membership is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member General Assembly, which then has to adopt a resolution for the admission of a Member State. Mr. Salam said he would convene Council members on Monday to hold consultations on the Palestinian application.”

Text of Palestinian letter of application to join the United Nations

This is the text of Palestinian letter of application to join the United Nations handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, as released by the United Nations:


I have the profound honor, on behalf of the Palestinian people, to submit this application of the state of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations.

"This application for membership is being submitted on the Palestinian people's natural, legal and historic rights and based on United Nations General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 as well as the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988 and the acknowledgement by the General Assembly of this declaration in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988.

"In this connection, the state of Palestine affirms its commitment to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the vision of two states living side by side in…

Palestinians make historic United Nations appeal

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas made history in his people's long quest for statehood as he formally asked the United Nations on Friday to admit Palestine as a full member state.

"Snubbing fierce opposition from Israel and its regional ally the United States, Abbas handed a formal application to UN chief Ban Ki-moon at 3.35pm GMT buoyed by more than 120 nations which have already recognized a Palestinian state.

He won huge applause and a partial standing ovation as he later stepped up to address the UN General Assembly and vowed the Palestinians were ready to return to peace talks if Israeli settlement activities cease.

Waving a copy of the request, Abbas said he had submitted an "application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the June 4 1967 borders" with Jerusalem as its capital.

Explaining why he had pressed the Palestinian bid despite the opposition, Abbas said all previous peace efforts "were repeatedly smashed against the rocks of the positions…

UN Secretary-General receives Palestinian application for UN membership

“23 September 2011 – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today submitted an application for Palestine to become a United Nations Member State.
Mr. Abbas handed over an application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York this morning. Palestine currently has observer status at the UN. According to the provisions of the UN Charter, the Secretary-General is tasked with verifying any letter requesting UN membership, after which he sends it to the Security Council and the General Assembly. The application is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member Assembly, which has to adopt a resolution for the admission of any new Member State. Later, Mr. Abbas told the Assembly’s annual general debate that Palestine is applying for full membership of the UN, on the basis of the so-called 4 June 1967 borders. “Palestine is being reborn. This is my message,” he said, adding that he hoped it did not have to wait lo…

Palestinians submit statehood bid to U.N., Abbas receives standing ovation

“UNITED NATIONS — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday formally presented U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon an application for Palestinian membership as a state in the United Nations, setting the stage for the certain defeat of the measure in the U.N. Security Council, where the United States has threatened to block it.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly after submitting the application, Abbas informed the gathered leaders and diplomats of his move and held up a copy of the document, drawing a standing ovation and sustained cheers.

He devoted much of the speech to railing against Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and he blamed Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank for a prolonged deadlock in peace efforts.

“Enough, enough, enough,” he said at one point. “It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.”

The move marked the culmination of several months of a high-stakes diplomatic drive to secure Palestinian statehood at th…

Abbas officially submits Palestinian application for full UN membership

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday handed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon an official application for full UN membership on Friday, moments before he was due to address the UN General Assembly.
"This is a historic day in which the Palestinians are demanding the right for independence," said senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
Abbas is expected to speak at the UN General Assembly at around 12:30 A.M. EST, or 7:30 P.M. in Israel. Netanyahu is due to deliver his speech about 45 minutes afterward.”

Bill Clinton: Netanyahu isn't interested in Mideast peace deal

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for the inability to reach a peace deal that would end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, the former U.S. president was quoted by Foreign Policy magazine as claiming that Netanyahu lost interest in the peace process as soon as two basic Israelis demands seemed to come into reach: a viable Palestinian leadership and the possibility of normalizing ties with the Arab world.

"The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn't seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu," Clinton said, adding that Israel wanted "to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there's no question -- and the Netanyahu government has said -- that this is the finest Palestinian government they've ever had in the West Bank."”

The Palestinians’ Bid

“Last year, President Obama’s speech to the United Nations was full of promise and determination to advance Palestinian statehood through negotiations with Israel. This year, his address was about lowering expectations and a dispiriting realpolitik as the president spoke of how “peace is hard” and vowed to veto the Palestinians’ bid for statehood if it came to a Security Council vote. Mr. Obama had no choice but to stand by Israel, this country’s historic ally. And we agree that a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a viable Palestinian state, guarantee Israel’s security and build a lasting peace. But there should be no illusions about the high cost both Israel and this country will pay if this stalemate is allowed to drag on any longer. There is plenty of blame to go around. The main responsibility right now belongs to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who refuses to make any serious compromises for peace. He appears far more concerned about his own po…

How does a country become a UN Member State?

How does a country become a Member of the United Nations? "Membership in the Organization, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, “is open to all peace-loving States that accept the obligations contained in the United Nations Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able to carry out these obligations”. States are admitted to membership in the United Nations by decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. How does a new State or Government obtain recognition by the United Nations? The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government. As an organization of independent States, it may admit a new State to its membership or accept the credentials of the r…